Posts Tagged website

Why You Need A Strong Online Presence…And How To Craft One.

blogimageWe’ve all heard the saying: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In previous years it was easier to control your customers’ first impression of your brand; storefronts were the place were consumers got to know your company. Today however, the first impression for your customer might just happen in the digital space.

Today’s digital consumer operates on the web, often on more than one device. According to Nielsen’s 2014 Digital Consumer Report, 87% of smartphone and tablet owners use a mobile device for shopping activities. These users are searching for anything from the brand’s physical location, price of services, reviews and other research before making a commitment.

Users are choosing to learn about and become familiar with your brand online before ever setting foot in a physical location. This means that if you’re not creating a good online presence, then you could be missing out on some potential customers. Not only that, if you don’t have a strong online presence it could cost you. Consumers expect to see companies online, where they easily connect and find answers quickly.

So how do you improve your online presence? Here are 3 simple steps to get you started:

  1. Optimize your website
  • Make sure your website is up to date and user friendly. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, most users leave sites within 59 seconds. That means you have to capture their attention immediately with high quality, relevant content.
  1. Get social
  • Are you on social media? Because your clients probably are. According to the Pew Internet Project’s research (http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/), 74% of online adults use social networking sites.
  1. Be consistent
  • Pick a voice for your brand’s online presence, and then stick with it. When choosing how you want to represent your company online, make sure it adheres to your brand standards and company image.

If this seems a little overwhelming, or if you’re just not sure where to start, contact us. We’ll be sure to create a strong online presence for your company that is sure to satisfy customers.

 

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Ping.fm Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

, , , ,

No Comments

Annual Excel Awards Recognizes CEA Marketing

unnamed

 

August 1, 2014 – Orlando, Fla. – CEA Marketing Group, a full-service marketing and advertising company earned seven awards during the Excel Awards at the Southeast Building Conference. The awards recognize top professionals from around the state for marketing and advertising initiatives and were presented at the Orange County Convention Center.

CEA Marketing was recognized for: Best Direct Mail Piece, K Hovnanian Homes; Best Online Marketing Campaign, WCI Communities; Best Consumer Promotion, Taylor Morrison; Best TV Commercial, WCI Communities; Best YouTube Type Video, WCI Communities; Best Radio Commercial, K Hovnanian Homes; Best Website, Tampa Bay Builders Association.

“This has been a great year for CEA,” says president Kelly Bosetti. “ Winning over 11 awards this year is very special to us and helps us know our award winning creative is helping our clients drive sales.”

Specializing in advertising for the real estate industry, CEA Marketing has garnered clients from across the nation marketing for luxury condominiums, insurance companies, warranty groups, college bowl games, national organizations, remodelers, credit unions, national homebuilders, hotels and more.

Founded in 1998, CEA Marketing has been recognized with hundreds of awards locally, state-wide, and nationally for their excellent advertising and marketing work. Other awards received include Sand Dollar Awards, Awards of Excellence, Prism Awards, Tampa Bay Business Journal Awards and more.

Additional information can be found by visiting ceamarketing.com or by calling 727.523.8044.

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Ping.fm Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

3 TECHINQUES TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MARKETING AGENCY

 

So you hire a marketing agency to help you rebrand your image and design a modern website. You’re not entirely sure which direction you’d like your project to go and find it easier to simply leave the decisions up to the marketing experts, giving only a vague description along with creative freedom.

Have you ever been in this scenario? Then you know how this is likely going to end up.

The project has started and you’re excited! You have the perfect idea and just gained a team of dedicated experts to bring it to fruition! What could possibly go wrong? In concept, this truly is as close to the perfect recipe as one could get, yet time and again we have seen this perfect synergy somehow fail.

Luckily, I have been in the position of a client, where I commissioned a fellow graphic designer to rebrand my own personal website, but also have my own experience as a Web Designer here at CEA. Thanks to this duality, I have some unique insight to offer to this conundrum. Here are 3 insights that may help to smoothen the process between conceptualizing an idea and bringing it to light.

 

1. Develop A Creative Brief: It’s necessary

  • Outline the scope of work and give as many details as you can to avoid multiple revisions and driving up cost. This will save you a great deal of development time and thusly a great deal of money.

 

  • Provide as much detail and direction as possible to avoid ambiguity. Left with little direction or given absolute creative freedom, you may end up disappointed with the end result. Why? One man’s vision is another mans nightmare.

 

  • Communicate your ideas to the artists and web developers behind the scenes to ensure everyone involved on the project is on the same page.

 

2. Keep Ongoing Communication: It’s Important

  • The responsibility of being a happy client does not rest solely on the shoulders of the marketing agency. In fact, a great deal of responsibility lies with the client themselves.

 

  • It is vitally important to designate a key decision maker within your organization to manage conflicting opinions and keep in constant contact with the marketing firm.

 

  • This individual manages change in the account including charges. It is best to address changes early on, and keep all parties “in the know” as to the current status of the project, and whether or not these issues have caused the scope to change.

 

  • Ongoing communication helps to meet target dates and to keep the project going with a clear goal in mind. I cannot tell you how often I’ve had to wait and wait for hours, sometimes days, even weeks for a client to get back to me. As you can imagine, this lack of steady communication greatly impacts the project.

 

3. Determine Your Resources: Who & What Is Needed?

  • As a web developer, I cannot stress this enough. Client, it is your responsibility to provide a means to access the required resources necessary for the project. Take for example, if you were commissioning an agency to create for you an e-commerce website.

 

  • Web developers will require content to fully put this website together. Do you have a means to provide product images and organized product details for the item you are marketing? How about informational content for pages, or rather, SEO optimized copy for your new website?

 

  • Details such as these are vital to the well being of the project and you will need to designate people responsible for the individual pieces of the project.

 

I understand this may seem like a lot to ask of a client. Your time is valuable, and that’s why I believe the above tips will help you to better interact with an agency, and create higher quality creative. Take my word for it; you will save time, money, and effort in the long run!

 

Challenge yourself! Put these 3 techniques into practice with your next project and reap the rewards!

 

Want some more advice?

Visit www.ceamarketing.com or follow us on Twitter @kbosetti for Social Media & Marketing tips & tricks!

 

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Ping.fm Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , ,

No Comments

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide: How to Use New Technology to Convert Email Leads

 

Marketers can reach prospects through many channels, both traditional and digital. With the evolution of the Internet, many people started heavily marketing through email because you can reach more people for less money. Not bad, right?

 

The problem is just because your company sends an email does not necessarily mean the receiver is reading it. If they are reading it, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily clicking through to your website. Marketers had no way to gauge who was reading their emails and who was clicking through to their site. Thanks to email retargeting now marketers can.

 

Retargeting: a cookie-based technology using simple Javascript code to anonymously “follow” your audience all over the Web.*

 

How does that work?

  1. Potential customer visits your site.
  2. Leaves your site without making a purchase, asking for more info, calling, etc.
  3. Later, while surfing the web, they are retargeted with an ad for your business.
  4. They remember being on your site and click the ad. This brings them back to your website and recaptures their attention and interest in your product.

 

So then what is EMAIL retargeting?

Email retargeting is similar to this. We can decipher who looked at an email you sent and follow up with them at a later time even if they didn’t click through to your site.

 

How does it work?

  1. A pixel is embedded in every eBlast your company sends out.
  2. When the email is opened, the cookie drops in the readers’ browser. This will tell us whether they read the email or not and if they clicked through.
  3. We can then retarget those people who opened the email to read it but didn’t click through. With retargeting, follow up marketing is possible.

 

Why is this important?

Everyone selling something knows converting leads into sales is essential. Using retargeting, you can follow prospects once they’ve left your website or email regardless of where they go online. If someone read your email, they are interested enough in what you have to say but might need a little more push to gain more information.

If this is a service you believe could benefit your company, call us. We would love to talk. Talking is our favorite. Well, talking and converting leads.

 

*The retargeter.com

 

Written by: Kristy Roeser

 

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Ping.fm Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Advertising with Style-Cascading Style Sheet 3 (CSS3)

 

 


By John Atkinson

With the release of HTML5 and CSS3 to the general public, web creative and  advertisements have grown from invasive and unsightly, to integrated and eye appealing. This has been the result of a combination of advancements in web software and technology, however this author would lay the blame for this magnificent new World Wide Web at the feet of CSS3.

The function of cascading style sheets (CSS) is to make pretty what HTML makes functional. It “enables the separation of document content from document presentation, including
elements such as the layout, colors, and fonts” according to Wikipedia. CSS2 allows its users to specify style sheets for specific media types such as print or screen. However, in today’s mobile world, an overwhelming need for responsive content made itself known, and with the release of CSS Level 3 and consequently media queries, a responsive revolution was born.

Ever since CSS3 made itself known back in ‘05, designers and developers worldwide have been closely following its development. Despite many of its selectors not yet having support, designers and developers worldwide have been ecstatically testing and creating extraordinary web presentations with this simple and robust tool. These new and extraordinarily simple features of CSS3 include easier techniques to style pages, as well as entirely new capabilities such as; multiple backgrounds, transformation and translations, borders with images and gorgeous text-shadows.

CSS3 has always had a fairly simple and hands on approach friendly to both those transitioning from CSS 2.1 as well as those who have never used CSS in the past. This is because of the easy syntax and vast documentation on CSS3. This simplistic and straightforward syntax allows just about any individual to jump in and start styling. WYSIWYG editors generally have CSS3 property indexes built in, so that as a developer or designer types, they can quickly and easily see reference material to help their ideas come to fruition.

Maybe some of you are asking, “DaFuh?” Ultimately, what we want you to know is that the addition of the media query functionality in CSS3 has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for businesses. Now, we can create powerful web based marketing campaigns that respond to customers’ individual device preferences and deliver your message in the best way possible to that specific device. Bam! With CSS3 you can affect a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way your marketing works and in people’s ideas about web marketing and that, friends, is a revolution.

http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2010/02/01/50-brilliant-css3-javascript-coding-techniques/

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Ping.fm Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Improve Your Website Right Now

Ahhhhh….websites. The bread and butter to most businesses ever since the Internet was invented. The sad (and scary) truth is, this is the first place most people come to to find more information about your company, but most of us don’t spend as much time keeping it updated and as current as we should.

Let’s make a pact to stop the madness, and start spending more time on ourselves….or rather, our websites.

Here a few tips to keep in mind when updating your site.

  1. Think from the eyes of you customers. Constantly take a step back and ask yourself, “would this make sense to a new customer.” Many people neglect to make a statement on the home page about what the company does. Think through your navigation from their perspective. What would the logical order be to a customer?
  2. Condense the menu. Simplicity is key. A cleaner navigation makes it easier for people to spot what they are looking for, making for a better customer experience. No one wants to dig through a site to find something.
  3. Place a call to action on every page. Is your goal for people to call the company? Email you? Visit your office? Whatever the goal, make sure it is clearly visible on every page of the website.
  4. Add an About Us. People like to know they are dealing with people ( as opposed to aliens). Whatever the reason, about us pages that highlight the employees, feature bios, and experience do well.
  5. Simplicity is key. A web page with half a million things on it, is not benefiting anyone. Customers will be confused on what to focus on, and your brand and messaging will be lost in the mix.
  6. Make your site mobile-friendly. Over 60% of the population owns a mobile phone. If your site isn’t designed to be mobile, there is a chance people will move on to a competitor who DOES offer a mobile site. Having a mobile optimized site simply means customers won’t need to zoom in, out, or scroll. The website resizes automatically to fit the screen they are viewing it from. Talk about user friendly!

Your website can improve if you invest a little time and money into it. CEA Marketing creates websites with all of the above and then some. Ask us today about how we can design a site customized for you!

 

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Ping.fm Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

, ,

No Comments

Getting Familiar With Google Analytics

Business owners across the globe have one thing in common: they want to see results.

Sometimes, seeing results is easy- “Our Facebook followers went up by 216 this month” or “Our gross profit increased $4500 last week. “ But what results are you pulling from your website; the lifeline of your business in this digital world we live in?

Google Analytics is a service provided by Google (no surprise there) that is free of charge to users, if using the basic service. Statistics such as website traffic, traffic sources, conversions, and sales can be pulled.

Some of the terms used in this reporting include:

 

Visits: When a user enters your site this is a visit.

Visitors: Don’t be alarmed if the number of visitors is lower than the number of visits. Google is smart, and when someone visits your site from their browser, it will mark them as a returning visitor.

New/Returning Visits: By using cookies, Google Analytics can determine if your user has been on the site before (returning) or if it’s their first time visiting (new).

Bounce Rate:  Basically, if someone looks at one page and then leaves, this is considered a bounce. Therefore, the lower the bounce rate, the better.

Some of the things you can determine by viewing your analytics include:

  • If your traffic is growing, decreasing, or staying the same.
  • Where visitors are coming from? The report will show you what site they came from be it Facebook, Pinterest or a blog. This can help you determine where to spend more time or less time.
  • Who your visitors are- The report will show you where in the world people are viewing your site, or if they are new or returning visitor.
  • How long people stay on your site- this will help determine if visitors find the content useful and are staying engaged.
  • Which pages are the most frequented? Is there a way to make these pages even better or to model other pages with less traffic off of the ones performing better?
  • Where do visitors land and where do they go from there?

There are many other reasons why using a reporting system can benefit your business. What do you think is the most valuable information Google Analytics provides users?

 

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Ping.fm Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , ,

1 Comment

Hiring a Web Developer Versus a Web Company

Hiring a Web Developer Versus a Web Company

When you are looking to design or redesign a web site, it’s a good idea to get multiple quotes. Often times, the pricing will vary from company to company. Some times, we as an agency quote against a single individual, often a developer who knows how to program web sites. Although, this may be a great option, as it is often less expensive to use a developer instead of hire a web company, there are some things you should consider before committing.

1. Redoing the web site is usually more expensive than doing it right the first time. A web site is not only a monetary investment but  a huge time investment, and usually, you get what you pay for. All developers / web companies are not created equal, so make sure when you are comparing quotes that you realize the difference between a developer and a web company.

2. Web developers will often expect you, the client, to drive the strategy of the web site. There is a lot involved in how a web site is put together; what should go on what page; how the site should be organized; what the functionality on each page should be etc. If you are comfortable providing that type of direction, a web programmer is probably a good option for you.

3. Web developers usually don’t come up with your key word strategy or your copy. The client in this scenario often has to provide the copy to the developer and then the developer will drop that copy in to the design. There is often times not a back and forth, consulting, copy-writing role when working with a solitary developer.

4. Developers have a very distinct way of designing. Usually, there is a web designer and then there is a back-end developer, at least two people working on one project. When working with an individual developer, if you are going for a certain type of look, or a certain level of sophistication with your site, I suggest asking for design examples, and make sure they were the one’s that actually designed the site, not just programmed it.

5. Developers are more accustomed to working on one project per day. Multi-tasking, meeting with the client, organizing feedback, providing updates, taking notes on revisions, translating direction and proofing are all examples of tasks that a lot of developers are not extremely comfortable with. This role is typically filled by a project manager or account executive when working with a web company. This individual would manage the job, serving as the liaison between client and artist. This individual is specifically trained to work with the client and make sure the vision and direction of the client is noted and realized.

6. Developers often times do not provide very in-depth proposals. This means, that you don’t have a very clear picture of what is included, which can be problematic. It’s often good practice to have a very detailed and accurate outline of what the web site scope of work is so you know for sure that what you want is indeed understood, and more importantly, that the final product meets your expectations and objectives.

7. Because search engine optimization starts with a SEO-friendly design and programming, make sure that your web developer or web company understands how to design for search engines. Good on-site SEO is very important when investing in a web site, as you want to position your site to grow in search engine ranking over time. Also, you may want to find a web company that can also implement an off-site SEO campaign, like link-building for example. (It may also be helpful to work with a social media web company, so you can integrate all of  your online efforts with your web site design.)

Web developers are a really great option for clients that are technically-savvy and confident in their writing skills. It’s also a good option for people that can package and deliver exactly what they are looking for and don’t need the consulting or strategic management indicative of an experienced web company. Also note the additional time commitment on the “client” side as you will be the primary driver for the project. In my experience, if you want a 20 page web site complete in 2 months, estimate out on average 2 hours a day at least if you have to create the strategy and web flow chart, work personally with the developer and write and edit copy.

My final word of advice would be to ask for references, for a developer or a web company,  and then actually call the references!

Good luck on your web ventures!

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Ping.fm Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

, , , ,

34 Comments